What Is 'NIMBY'? What Does This Acronym Mean?

A Nimby group unreasonably opposes a change in their locale

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You see the expression "NIMBY" in a discussion forum online, and you see that the topic is a heated debate. But what exactly does NIMBY stand for?  

NIMBY is an acronym for "not in my backyard." This negative expression describes the attitudes of people who vehemently oppose proposed zoning or proposed building development for reasons that are purely selfish or snobby. Nimbies often know that a proposal has benefits to the greater public but are unwilling to open up their neighborhood to be part of the proposal.

Examples of the NIMBY phenomenon include opposition to the building of a new jail or a drug rehabilitation house in the neighborhood. Although residents might support such projects in other areas, they strongly resist their presence in their own neighborhood. 

Nimby Usage in Social Media

Nimbies might oppose an electrical corridor field being turned into a dog park, and then cite false logic as their argument, such as "that land is a beautification area that children should play in."

Here is an example of the NIMBY phenomenon developing in a Facebook comment thread:

(User 1) This is ridiculous. The city is rezoning the park to be a dog park. Now we're going to have dog feces stinking up our neighborhood next summer!

(User 2) NIMBY they won't! This is asinine, and I'm going to make sure they know this. 

(User 1) What do you suggest?

(User 2) City council holds open mic every Thursday and Friday. I'm going to take the morning off work to go down there are protest. If you come along, you will also get ten minutes to use the mic.

(User 1) OK, let's do it. This dog park is such a stupid idea.

(User 2) Damn straight. And I bet Julie and Greg will join us, too!

(User 1) I could probably get Kristy and Tuan from across the street as well.

NIMBY and NIMBYISM are just some of the many acronyms and colloquialisms you find on the internet. As increasingly more people participate in online discussions and social media websites, you can expect to see plenty of these cultural acronyms in your web browser.

Web and Texting Abbreviations: Capitalization and Punctuation 

When using text message abbreviations and chat jargon, capitalization is a nonconcern. You are welcome to use all uppercase or all lowercase—ROFL or rofl—and the meaning is identical. Avoid typing entire sentences in uppercase, though, as that represents shouting in online speak.

Proper punctuation is similarly a nonconcern with most text message abbreviations. For example, the abbreviation for "Too Long, Didn't Read" can be TL;DR or TLDR. Both are acceptable formats, with or without punctuation.

Never use periods between jargon letters. It would defeat the purpose of speeding up thumb typing. For example, ROFL would never be spelled R.O.F.L., and TTYL would never be spelled T.T.Y.L.

Recommended Etiquette for Using Web and Texting Jargon 

Using good judgment and knowing your audience helps you choose how to use jargon in your messaging. If you know someone well, and it is a personal and informal communication, then absolutely use abbreviation jargon. On the flip side, if you are starting a friendship or professional relationship with the other person, then it is a good idea to avoid abbreviations until you have developed a relationship rapport. 

If the messaging is in a professional context at work with someone in management at your company or with a customer or vendor outside your company, avoid abbreviations altogether. Using full word spellings shows professionalism and courtesy.